Those of you who read Motor Verso regularly will be aware that I have a 2004 Range Rover as my daily car and for most of the time I do love owning it. But when owning a 10 year old Range Rover you do need to be patient with it and expect problems.
I have owned the car for three years and spent less than £1,000 maintaining it. Which for a car that originally cost over £70,000 and is as complicated as this, is pretty good going.
Recently I had the latest blip though, and a pretty big blip too. On the way into office one morning the “battery not charging” light lit up in red on the dash…bugger, I could do without breaking down! I continued for another 3-4 minutes and luckily I wasn’t far from work and just made it. I had a quick look under the bonnet when I got there; the fan belt was still in place and the tension was good, so it seemed obvious that there was some kind of alternator failure. I called the AA to get the 3 tonne drained devil home where I would have the time and tools to take a better look.
Luckily for me the AA sent out a breakdown engineer that knew all about Land Rovers, he even turned up in a fully kitted out Land Rover Disco 4, so at this point I couldn’t of ask for any more. He took a quick look at it and said the alternator was on the way out and rather than towing it suggested I try and drive it home whilst he follows behind in case the alternator wasn’t up for the job.
So I nipped off home at midday to drop the car back home, I drove about 1 mile before everything electric on the car started flicking on and off and the car was bonging and dinging at me. It was far from happy, to say the least and I had 10 miles to drive across Birmingham City Centre. The inevitable happened, I was exactly halfway across a busy dual carriageway where there was nowhere to stop. Lucky me! I slowly managed to coast the car across to the hard shoulder at the end of the road where my new best mate in his SDV6 Disco 4 hooked me up on a tow and got me out of trouble.
It is worth noting that the SDV6 disco pulled like an absolute tank, I was shocked by the power of the thing, bearing in mind I was sitting in a 4.4-litre V8 Range Rover at the time of being pulled, some of the time it felt like I was driving. For anyone who likes 4x4s and crazy amounts of torque check them out.
Anyway, my point here is how import it is to have Breakdown Cover from the AA. No matter car you drive, sooner or later it is likely to experience a failure and you will need a way of getting your car either home or to a garage safely and the AA can sort you out.